Legislation aimed at stopping the creation of so-called sanctuary cities in Wisconsin has cleared the state Assembly. It would prevent local governments from creating policies that prohibit law enforcement from asking about the immigration status of someone charged with a crime.
Democrats argued the measure is about generating fear of illegal immigrants in an election year, and may actually jeopardize public safety. Rep. JoCasta Zamarippa (D-Milwaukee) said “bills just like this have been shown to actually inhibit members of immigrant communities from contacting law enforcement when crime occurs.”
Republicans said it’s not about targeting immigrants though, noting that the measure was changed to eliminate checks when a person is detained. Members argued it’s meant to ensure local officials are following federal law on the issue. Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-Milwaukee) said the bill is “pro-safety, and it’s pro-responsibility, and it’s pro-respecting the laws of our country.”
The bill passed on a 62-35 vote. It now heads to the state Senate.